How Has the Pandemic Affected Child Literacy in Africa?

Child at home due to schools being closed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on education systems around the world. While more developed countries managed to develop online systems for children, so they could be taught safely in the comfort of their homes, children across Africa suffered as their education came to a halt.

A lack of funds and infrastructure made it impossible to develop a remote teaching system. School closures exacerbated existing inequalities for kids who are already at risk of missing out on quality education.

Children receiving no education in 2020

In March 2020 alone, a large percentage of children had no access to education as educational facilities closed down due to the pandemic. Parents have been patiently waiting for schools to reopen, but the COVID-19 pandemic has gone on for a year and things are still not under control.

Worried parents are rightfully upset as their children have lost a lot. They are losing weeks and months of education which they might never get back. Teenagers are worried that after a year of being away from school, they might not be able enter their final year.

Unfortunately, parents aren’t able to help much with their children’s education at home due to long hours at work or illiteracy. Children have been forced to spend their time helping around the house or helping the household by earning a living due to increasing poverty rates.

Siblings spending their days at home since schools are closed.

No interaction with teachers

Educational facilities did not develop any plan of action for the lockdown and school closures. As a result, children have not received any feedback, nor have they had any interaction with their teachers. Teachers have not taught during this period. Some schools gave printed assignments to children, but that wasn’t enough to last months. Students also have no means to contact their instructors, making home assignments pointless when done wrong. Their main instruction was to reread notes and wait on authorities to announce new COVID regulations.

Students have found that rereading their notes was of very little use since they had forgotten most of what they had learned. Trying to learn more complex subjects is futile without any help and guidance.

Mental health impact

The mental health impact of being away from school is also an increasing concern. Students feel stressed and anxious about their future with schools being closed for many months. Children are anxious about their progress and whether they will be able to get back on track with learning once schools do reopen.

The feeling of isolation and being away from friends have led to an overall low morale and possibly depression too. Schools have not taken into consideration the emotional impact of such a huge change in the lives of children.

Come forward today to help these children receive quality education and a better standard of living. You can do so by donating to Orphan Life Foundation. We have many programs and projects going on that help children and adults in Africa. Our clean water campaigns and child literacy project in Africa require immediate funds.